Ediacaran emerald mineralization in Northeastern Brazil: the case of the Fazenda Bonfim Deposit

Judiron Santos Santiago, Valmir da Silva Souza, Elton Luiz Dantas, Claudinei Gouveia de Oliveira


The Fazenda Bonfim emerald deposit lies within the Seridó Belt. It is a classic example of deposit formed through metasomatic interactions between Be-rich granite intrusions and Cr(± V)-rich mafic-ultramafic rocks. The setting of the emerald mineralization was built under strong strikeslip dynamics, which produced serpentinization and talcification of mafic-ultramafic host-rocks, and was followed by syn-kinematic emplacement of Be-rich albite granite, favoring hydrothermal/metasomatic processes. The structural control and lithological-contrast were fundamental to the fluid flow and the best ore-shoot geometry, developed in the S-foliation intra-plane at the contact zone (phlogopite hornfels) between mafic-ultramafic rocks and the albite granite. Subsequently, an albitization process, linked to the final-stage of magmatic crystallization, led to an overall mineralogical and chemical change of the albite granite. 207U–235Pb data revealed inheritance ages from Archean to Neoproterozoic and a crystallization age of 561 ± 4 Ma for albite granite. However, 40Ar/39Ar data revealed plateau age of 553 ± 4 Ma for phlogopite hornfels, interpreted as the closure time for the metasomatic event responsible for the nucleation and growth of emerald crystals. The short interval of time between U-Pb and Ar-Ar data indicates an intense, but not protracted, metasomatic history, probably due to low volume of intrusive magma.


Fazenda Bonfim emerald deposit; Seridó Belt; Geology; Geochemistry; U-Pb and Ar-Ar geochronology.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/2317-4889201920190081


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